Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Please Support CounterPunch’s Annual Fund Drive
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We only ask you once a year, but when we ask we mean it. So, please, help as much as you can. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. All contributions are tax-deductible.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Whacky Politics

“Under every stone lurks a politician.”

Aristophanes, Thesmophoriazusae

Sarah Palin, who symbolizes the folly of the 2010 political scene, is not without competition from other inhabitants of the loony bin. (Her latest contribution is to etymology. Commenting on the Muslim mosque the construction of which near the World Trade Center site has created controversy, she said New Yorkers should “refudiate it.” When criticized for her English usage she said on twitter: “English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too.”

The American Constitution Party, which has a special place in the loony bin, has come into the news because of a quixotic series of events that took place in the Colorado Republican primary contest among aspirants to the office of governor of the state of Colorado. The two Republican candidates come with self-constructed infirmities. One, Scott McInnis, is a self-acknowledged plagiarist, who was paid $300,000 for his stolen work. His competitor is Dan Maes who sees in the bicycle-sharing program in Denver a “strategy to rein in American cities under a United Nations treaty.” The program, said Mr. Maes, “is bigger than it looks like on the surface, and it could threaten our personal freedoms.”

Former Republican, Tom Tancredo, decided to rescue the state from these two men and entered the gubernatorial race under the banner of the American Constitution Party, bringing prominence to a party whose platform includes abolishing the Food and Drug Administration, the Internal Revenue Service , the Departments of Education and Energy and the Federal Election Commission. Notwithstanding its palpable wackiness, the Constitution Party doesn’t hold a candle to the Republican Party of Iowa.

Iowa is the state that has the distinction, every four years, of selecting the next person to be the president of the United States. Mindful of its importance, the Republican Party of that state takes great pains to carefully articulate its beliefs so as to be worthy of the place in the electoral process it enjoys. In its most recent state convention it adopted a platform that consisted of 387 planks and principles. The second statement of principles that begin the document sets the tone by solemnly declaring that “America is Good.” Some things in America, however, are not good. Paragraph 2.09 says that “we are opposed to protecting mountain lions, cougars, wolves, elk, moose, and black bear or similar dangerous animals.” Paragraph 2.08 deals with semantics in a way that is probably mysterious to a non-Iowan. It says that “We support the definition of manure as a natural fertilizer.” It is not clear who is attacking the definition.

The most important section of the platform is 7.19 . That section calls for the “reintroduction and ratification of the original 13th Amendment, not the 13th Amendment in today’s Constitution.” There is considerable difference in the two versions and an excellent article by Jerry Adler in Newsweek contains a comprehensive description of the earlier version. The 13th Amendment now in the Constitution abolishes slavery and involuntary servitude (except as criminal punishment) and gives Congress the power to enact appropriate legislation. The drafters of Iowa’s Republican party favor what they believe to be an earlier version that has nothing to do with slavery. It was introduced in 1810 by Sen. Philip Reed of Maryland and provided: “If any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive or retain any title of nobility or honour, or shall, without the consent of Congress accept and retain any present, pension, office or emolument of any kind whatever, from any emperor, king, prince or foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen of the United States and shall be incapable of holding any office of trust or profit under them, or either of them.” (This is not the same as stripping citizenship from children of illegal immigrants by getting rid of the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a possibility such luminaries as Senators McCain, Graham, and others believe Congress should consider.)

Iowans believe that this Amendment was adopted and should be in the Constitution in place of the one that is now there. Slavery being gone, there is no real reason to have an amendment abolishing it nor would its abolition reverse emancipation. According to Mr. Adler, he asked the state Republican Communications Director, Danielle Plogman, whether Iowans wanted to reverse emancipation. She assured him that was not the purpose. It’s a safe bet none of those voting for the restoration of the old 13Th Amendment (that Mr. Adler’s column suggests was never the real 13th Amendment) realized that they would be abolishing the abolition of slavery amendment in favor of protecting the country from citizens receiving honors from “any emperor, king, prince or foreign power.”

The loonies are on a rampage. Only time will tell whether the voters have the strength to withstand their onslaught.

CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI can be e-mailed at brauchli.56@post.harvard.edu.

 

WORDS THAT STICK
?

 

More articles by:
October 16, 2018
Gregory Elich
Diplomatic Deadlock: Can U.S.-North Korea Diplomacy Survive Maximum Pressure?
Rob Seimetz
Talking About Death While In Decadence
Kent Paterson
Fifty Years of Mexican October
Robert Fantina
Trump, Iran and Sanctions
Greg Macdougall
Indigenous Suicide in Canada
Kenneth Surin
On Reading the Diaries of Tony Benn, Britain’s Greatest Labour Politician
Thomas Knapp
Facebook Meddles in the 2018 Midterm Elections
Muhammad Othman
Khashoggi and Demetracopoulos
Gerry Brown
Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics: How the US Weaponizes Them to Accuse  China of Debt Trap Diplomacy
Christian Ingo Lenz Dunker – Peter Lehman
The Brazilian Presidential Elections and “The Rules of The Game”
Robert Fisk
What a Forgotten Shipwreck in the Irish Sea Can Tell Us About Brexit
Martin Billheimer
Here Cochise Everywhere
David Swanson
Humanitarian Bombs
Dean Baker
The Federal Reserve is Not a Church
October 15, 2018
Rob Urie
Climate Crisis is Upon Us
Conn Hallinan
Syria’s Chessboard
Patrick Cockburn
The Saudi Atrocities in Yemen are a Worse Story Than the Disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi
Sheldon Richman
Trump’s Middle East Delusions Persist
Justin T. McPhee
Uberrima Fides? Witness K, East Timor and the Economy of Espionage
Tom Gill
Spain’s Left Turn?
Jeff Cohen
Few Democrats Offer Alternatives to War-Weary Voters
Dean Baker
Corporate Debt Scares
Gary Leupp
The Khashoggi Affair and and the Anti-Iran Axis
Russell Mokhiber
Sarah Chayes Calls on West Virginians to Write In No More Manchins
Clark T. Scott
Acclimated Behaviorisms
Kary Love
Evolution of Religion
Colin Todhunter
From GM Potatoes to Glyphosate: Regulatory Delinquency and Toxic Agriculture
Binoy Kampmark
Evacuating Nauru: Médecins Sans Frontières and Australia’s Refugee Dilemma
Marvin Kitman
The Kitman Plan for Peace in the Middle East: Two Proposals
Weekend Edition
October 12, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Becky Grant
My History with Alexander Cockburn and The Financial Future of CounterPunch
Paul Street
For Popular Sovereignty, Beyond Absurdity
Nick Pemberton
The Colonial Pantsuit: What We Didn’t Want to Know About Africa
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Summer of No Return
Jeff Halper
Choices Made: From Zionist Settler Colonialism to Decolonization
Gary Leupp
The Khashoggi Incident: Trump’s Special Relationship With the Saudi Monarchy
Andrew Levine
Democrats: Boost, Knock, Enthuse
Barbara Kantz
The Deportation Crisis: Report From Long Island
Doug Johnson
Nate Silver and 538’s Measurable 3.5% Democratic Bias and the 2018 House Race
Gwen Carr
This Stops Today: Seeking Justice for My Son Eric Garner
Robert Hunziker
Peak Carbon Emissions By 2020, or Else!
Arshad Khan
Is There Hope on a World Warming at 1.5 Degrees Celsius?
David Rosen
Packing the Supreme Court in the 21stCentury
Brian Cloughley
Trump’s Threats of Death and Destruction
Joel A. Harrison
The Case for a Non-Profit Single-Payer Healthcare System
Ramzy Baroud
That Single Line of Blood: Nassir al-Mosabeh and Mohammed al-Durrah
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail